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A very sarcastic Android security warning

A very sarcastic Android security warning

Holy hell fire, Henry! You heard? A terrifying new form of Android malware is becoming extremely furious – stealing passwords, emptying bank accounts and sipping the whole grape soda from the refrigerators of unsuspecting Android phone owners.

We should all tremble in our rain boots, according to almost all the information we read on these websites. Numerous news stories full of adjectives have warned me that the «scary new malware for Android» is «spreading fast», targeting «millions» (millions!) Of users and, occasionally, even «hitting people in the game.» (Okay, I did the last part. But you get the idea).

BUT WAIT! It’s getting worse: malware, known as FluBot (because it wouldn’t be a malware for Android if it didn’t have an annoying and annoying name), works by pop-up your phone, giving you access to all the most sensitive data and then sending your deepest secrets to the hooligans who laugh preventively at your inevitable misfortune.

It is enough for you to want to throw your Android phone in the nearest career and to hide for good. I see, who wouldn’t react like that? However, before you start looking for the nearest bunker, you need to know something about this threatening Android malware. And it’s something that, if we’re completely honest, applies to the vast majority of Android security stories that induce the fear we see in the wild.

Intelligent? This Android malware must be very scary to you – yes, you mean you are a total and complete idiot.

No offense to the complete and total idiots of the world (we love them, we really like them), but let me give you a context that is often lost on exactly how this last great evil malware monster works:

Someone you don’t know sends you a message with a link and a friendly suggestion to touch it to install a program you’ve never heard of. (They may also offer you a lollipop and suggest you climb into their unmarked van, but we haven’t been able to confirm this yet.)

If you tap the link, you’ll come to a website that tries to download an Android program file, known as an APK file, to your phone. This step will cause your phone to display a warning informing you that the type of file involved could damage the device and will ask you if you are sure you want to continue.

Android 1JR security notification

If you ignore the warning and choose to continue, the file will download to your device. At that point, it’s up to you to tap a command to open it. In particular, nothing happens automatically or without your active participation at any time along the way here.

If you tap the command to open the file, you’ll see a strong warning that your phone can’t install unknown applications from this source for your safety.

To avoid this, you’ll need to tap the «Settings» link in the warning, which will then take you to a screen that says your phone and personal details are «most vulnerable to attacks from unknown apps» and confirming another date, that you really want to continue

.

If you accept this warning and turn the switch to allow the application to install, you will receive another confirmation message that will show you the name of the application and ask you, once again, if you really want to install it.

If you go through all this and continue, the application will be installed on your EEK phone! Please wait: Android apps can only access different types of data and system functions if you explicitly grant them permission to do so. In the case of this unfortunate person, it seems that he should ask your permission to send and manage SMS messages, because he accesses your messaging application to spread his love relationship with others. the people in your phone’s contacts, along with permission from the system accessibility service, which would allow a program to read anything on the screen and see what you type in fields like password hints. This access level is only for genuine accessibility-oriented services, as well as applications such as password managers that need it to work.

If you think it is appropriate to allow the application these access levels anyway, despite all the warnings and the fact that there is no logical reason why you need such access or why you should, then yes, the application could run . on your phone and do what you did (remember, however, you would also need permission to access the internet before you could pull the deepest secrets out of your device and send them to someone else). At this point, congratulations – you have officially reached the status of complete and total idiot.

In the related news, if a suspicious-looking guy comes to you on the street and asks for your wallet, then he tells you three different times what he can do if you shake his wallet and confirms four times that I really want to do it. Give it to him, anyway, good, pretty, if you give him that wallet, some bad things will probably happen.

Apart from all the analogies, there is actually another asterisk and it is an important one: in a business, any company whose IT department is not entirely made up of complete and total suckers would have policies that prevent users from randomly installing foreign applications. sources first. Such policies are implicitly implemented in a managed Android enterprise agreement, in fact, IT people would have had to deliberately disable that form of protection for any of these tricks to be possible on a business-connected phone.

Android commerce policies can also control exactly which apps can be configured as accessibility services, so there’s another layer of protection for idiots. And that’s not to mention the anti-phishing measures that many companies implement on their devices. In almost any business situation (which does not involve nonsense), then you would never go to step 3 or even step 2, no matter how hard you try.

And even in an individual user situation, you should work hard enough to allow an app like this to make its offer dirty, given all the barriers Android puts in place before it reaches the point of danger. real.

And you know what? It’s about the same damn story every time. This is absolutely the case with another Android bogeyman that exists now: a “new sophisticated and fake app” that “disguises itself as a system update app” and steals “data, messages and images” while simultaneously “taking control of phones Android ”and monitors everything from the content of your phone calls to your messages and even your browser history (yes, including the site you visited before bed last night).

But oh yes: you will need to access a random unofficial website to find and download the work and then go through the same type of requests to install it and give it the different forms of advanced access it needs to work. And if you use a phone connected to work, you probably wouldn’t be able to do any of that anyway.

Oh, and the company that carries out the advertising campaign in this regard, by the way? It’s Zimperium, which conveniently and completely randomly sells security software for Android devices. (Funny how it always seems to work that way, right?)

The bottom line is this, my hominid companion wearing Android: Android security can certainly seem scary on the surface, especially if you spend a lot of time swimming in the endless stream of sensational stories about it. And God, in a few weeks, those waters infested with fear can be almost impossible to avoid.

However, once you start looking closely and asking the right questions, an Android security scare is almost always much less scary than it initially seems. And despite what companies that push these narratives would probably prefer, there is rarely a real cause for panic, as long as the slightest bit of common sense is involved (not a complete and total idiot).